John Bennett isn’t your typical weightlifter. But don’t be fooled, John is very strong. Quite possibly the strongest 80+ year old alive. He can claim the title in the deadlift, which he set a new world record in.

A friend urged John to look into a lifting competition. He then did a little research, “I knew I could break that record. I had tested that.”

John and a few buddies decided to make a weekend trip of it. Going to the Wisconsin Dells for his competition. One of John’s friends, none other than Barry Williams from The Brady Bunch family.

“We made it a road trip,” explains Barry, “Got a couple of guys and headed to the (Wisconsin) Dells.”

How does John know Barry? He works out at the Fitness Center John runs at Big Cedar Lodge. Over the years, they have become close friends.

Once in Wisconsin, John was ready to work, “I managed to break the record on the first lift and we had four attempts.”

“The first one broke the world record. Then the next three broke his own records,” laughs Barry. His final lift, and the new world record for the 80-85-year-old age division, was a staggering 325 pounds.

This was the first time John had competed in over 50 years. In 1970, at 30 years old, he set a record at his college in Texas. But in the 70’s, weights were hard to come by.

“I used to do chin-ups off of trees in my backyard.”

From trees to topping the records, it’s no surprise that John says his fountain of youth is, “You know what, exercise. I always have to contribute it to exercise and specifically weight training.”